Best Ways to Improve Food Security
We all have a role to play in achieving food security
Food insecurity continues to worsen as the coronavirus pandemic keeps on spreading globally. Despite the pandemic, people need to have physical, social, and economic access to safe, nutritious, and sufficient food that meets their dietary needs. Government, NGOs, and business owners involved in the food supply chain need to come in to ensure continuity in agricultural productivity and accessibility of food at affordable costs all over the world.
Government Interventions to Improve Food Security
The government needs to create both a regulatory and enabling environment. A regulatory environment is created by developing regulations for fair and effective performance in all sectors involved in the agribusiness value chain. Having a fairground where all members in the food supply chain are actively involved makes it easier to produce high-quality food and transport it to where demand is thus increasing accessibility at affordable prices. In addition to policies and regulations, the government needs to create appropriate institutions and infrastructures to facilitate growth and development in the agricultural sector. Creating a regulatory and enabling environment requires the aspect of time to be able to improve food security, however, there is no time factor as people are suffering due to COVID-19 and the government needs to be involved directly to assist her people to have access to food.
The government needs to provide subsidies and cut taxation costs on basic food products. This will lower the costs of these products thus making it accessible to people. Also, despite curfew and lockdown, the government agencies should put in place measures ensuring agricultural products are transported to markets at the right time. Market accessibility will create markets for farmers’ produce thus sustaining their earnings and at the same time making food available to the people. Another way the government will help in improving food security is setting urgent policies that will keep in check the price of agricultural produces as most businesses in the food supply chain are taking advantage of high demand and low supply to overprice basic agricultural products.
The government should also prioritize its interests in funds allocation during this pandemic, most people are starving and most governments especially in developing countries are focusing on allocating funds where there is no urgency. Despite the struggle to fight against COVID-19, the governments need to be careful not to lose many people out of hunger compared to coronavirus pandemic. The government needs to release emergency funds to help provide food and related services to the people.
Closing agricultural markets due to COVID-19 is not a rational decision instead the government should put measures to ensure sellers and buyers comply with Ministry of Health and World Health Organization (WHO) regulations as people need to have access to food whereas others need to continue earning their daily bread from all businesses involved in the food supply chain. Having observed how Turkey has been able to keep the food supply chain running all through since first cases of coronavirus were reported, investing in good infrastructures such as market structures, transportation means, and effective information systems has been it easier for people to have access to sufficient nutritious food all the time.
Non-Government Organizations Participation to Improve Food Security.
NGOs around the world perform a wide range of services to improve human wellbeing and livelihood. Most NGOs focus on poverty reduction and work together with the United Nations in achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These organizations work towards social development and improving people’s living standards. During this COVID-19 period, it’s the best opportunity for the organizations to prove themselves by improving their humanitarian acts towards those who are starving due to hunger. They need to focus more on providing relief funds to poor people in the society, community development programs focusing on agriculture productivity, and engaging directly with people to know what kind of services they need during these tough times.
Businesses and Corporates in Food Supply chain
Amidst of COVID-19 most businesses keep thriving and making a lot of profits yet most people who supported them before the pandemic continue suffering due to lack of enough finances to meet their basic needs. How ethical is it, to continue thriving, making huge profits due to a pandemic affecting millions of people yet giving nothing back to the society to at least improve their wellbeing?. There are no denial very few companies and businesses have directly been involved in providing food relief to those in need but a lot needs to be done. We need to appeal to the moral conscience of owners and shareholders of these big businesses that are making huge profits especially those involved directly in the food supply chain to participate more and urgently to helping people have access to sufficient nutritious food at affordable prices. The corporate world must heed to the call to participate more in humanitarian acts to help fight food insecurity in our society.
In conclusion, food insecurity continues to be a big problem, especially in developing countries. COVID-19 has made it even worse than it was, and it’s high time that every person to be actively involved in fighting food insecurity during this period. Let’s the phrase “Be your brother’s keeper” be in action now, if you have more than in enough, remember there are others who barely have enough meal, let’s share the little we have with those who lack and by doing so, all of us will come out of this hard state victorious. Let’s spread the lover to the poor, sharing is caring.